Research and Development

Posted by National Endowment for the Humanities ; Posted on 
Grant Opportunities - DEADLINE :  
Research and Development


The Research and Development program supports projects that address major challenges in preserving or providing access to humanities collections and resources.  These challenges include the need to find better ways to preserve materials of critical importance to the nation’s cultural heritage—from fragile artifacts and manuscripts to analog recordings and digital assets subject to technological obsolescence—and to develop advanced modes of organizing, searching, discovering, and using such materials.

This program supports projects at all stages of development, from early planning and stand-alone studies to advanced implementation.  Research and Development projects contribute to the evolving and expanding body of knowledge for heritage practitioners, and for that reason, outcomes may take many forms.  Projects may produce any combination of laboratory datasets, guidelines for standards, open access software tools, workflow and equipment specifications, widely used metadata schema, or other products.

Research and Development supports work on the entire range of humanities collection types including, but not limited to, moving image and sound recordings, archaeological artifacts, born digital and time-based media, rare books and manuscripts, archival records, material culture, and art.  Applicants must demonstrate how advances in preservation and access through a Research and Development project would benefit the cultural heritage community by supporting humanities research, teaching, or public programming.

Research and Development projects are encouraged to address one or more of the following areas of special interest:

  • Preserving our audiovisual and digital heritage
  • Conserving our material past
  • Protecting our cultural heritage
  • Serving under-represented communities
  • Responding to climate change


What’s new for 2022:

  • A new area of special interest encourages work investigating the impacts of climate change on heritage collections along with developing responses to advance sustainability and resilience.
  • A new category for Tier II Advanced Implementation projects supports topic or area studies in heritage preservation and access.  Projects may propose some combination of convenings such as forums, symposia, workshops, or conferences; surveys; and other qualitative and quantitative modes of investigations that would result in publications; resources; guidelines; or agenda for collective action with substantial national or international interest.
  • Applications will be declared ineligible for review if they do not include all required sections and components.
  • Applications will be declared ineligible for review if they do not comply with all formatting requirements including page limits and file formats.

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